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curfew

[kur-fyoo] /ˈkɜr fyu/
noun
1.
an order establishing a specific time in the evening after which certain regulations apply, especially that no civilians or other specified group of unauthorized persons may be outdoors or that places of public assembly must be closed.
2.
a regulation requiring a person to be home at a certain prescribed time, as imposed by a parent on a child.
3.
the time at which a daily curfew starts.
4.
the period during which a curfew is in effect.
5.
a signal, usually made with a bell, announcing the start of the time of restrictions under a curfew.
6.
a bell for sounding a curfew.
7.
(in medieval Europe) the ringing of a bell at a fixed hour in the evening as a signal for covering or extinguishing fires.
8.
a metal cover for shielding a banked or unattended fire.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English < Anglo-French coverfeu, Old French covrefeu literally, (it) covers (the) fire. See cover, focus
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for curfew
  • It would have a tough time enforcing a curfew or monitoring who was coming and going from particular residences.
  • Put the army on the streets if necessary and impose a curfew.
  • People were to observe a mandatory curfew and travel restrictions.
  • The authorities responded with a two-day, shoot-on-sight curfew.
  • The government imposed a curfew in much of the country.
  • Tens of thousands defied government curfew zones, resulting in the deaths of several protesters.
  • Patterson, the prime minister, responded by calling out the army and imposing a curfew.
  • Those words, a curfew and a lot of soldiers on patrol have kept the streets calm.
  • But the protesters have ignored both military law and a night curfew.
  • Few risk going out much after dark, even though the curfew begins only at midnight.
British Dictionary definitions for curfew

curfew

/ˈkɜːfjuː/
noun
1.
an official regulation setting restrictions on movement, esp after a specific time at night
2.
the time set as a deadline by such a regulation
3.
(in medieval Europe)
  1. the ringing of a bell to prompt people to extinguish fires and lights
  2. the time at which the curfew bell was rung
  3. the bell itself
Word Origin
C13: from Old French cuevrefeu, literally: cover the fire
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for curfew
n.

early 14c., "evening signal, ringing of a bell at a fixed hour," from Anglo-French coeverfu (late 13c.), from Old French cuevrefeu, literally "cover fire" (Modern French couvre-few), from cuevre, imperative of covrir "to cover" (see cover (v.)) + feu "fire" (see focus (n.)). The medieval practice of ringing a bell at fixed time in the evening as an order to bank the hearths and prepare for sleep. The original purpose was to prevent conflagrations from untended fires. The modern extended sense of "periodic restriction of movement" had evolved by 1800s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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